This work we do is tough stuff. We work in the messy, dirty, darkest parts of life and in doing so we have to find ways of keeping the self safe and sane. sometimes that thing which comes in the midst of chaos, is exactly that which is needed.
Just like the parent who finds themselves subjected to a campaign of denigration, as a professional I have repeatedly drawn attack from parents, professionals and others in the field for whom I appear to represent some kind of personal threat. When this dynamic occurs I have found it best to take my own advice and remain absolutely silent and absolutely still in response.
When others project blame, the temptation is to respond with a counter attack, which simply means that the outside world looks on and believes that it is a simple fight between parents. Therefore, when the temperature rises, the best way to keep cool is to say nothing, do nothing and contemplate the meaning of the actions one is observing in the other. For the actions often reveal the vulnerability which is being covered by the rage. And in understanding the vulnerability, one is able to remain compassionate instead of being drawn into the counter attack.
Yesterday as I was getting on a train home I bumped into someone I worked with many years ago, someone whose children I had worked with in reunification all the way through to success and beyond. Those same children are adults now and healthy and well and happy in their own lives. They also understand the issues that their once alienating parent had and has and have managed to deal with them without counter rejecting. Children who are in relationship to both of their parents is always our goal after reunification, because these are children whose own children will not need to carry a trans-generational narrative into their own parenthood. As we rattled along catching up, I heard all about those now grown up children and I knew again that what we are doing with the FSC reunification model is without doubt right in every way.
I stepped off the train with gratitude for the ‘co-incidental’ meeting, because it restored my faith in our work on what had been a somewhat unpleasant day.
When the going gets tough, listening is better than talking and observing is better than doing.
And when you stand still in the face of an onslaught, the gift that comes first is the still, small, voice of truth.
Be still and listen, the answer will come.
And for that I am enduringly grateful.